Ian Anderson plays in many different ensembles, including Scottish Ballet (where he holds the position of Principal Viola), Wooden Elephant (extended string quintet which reimagines classic electronic-based popular music albums as contemporary classical concert works, where he plays viola and makes the arrangements), yllwshrk (alternative rock band ‘yellow shark’, where he plays a variety of instruments and writes music), and Berlin-based contemporary string quartet Sonar Quartett. He is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music in London (undergraduate viola), and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow (postgraduate composition).
Ian is also a regular with the London Contemporary Orchestra, with whom he has appeared on albums such as Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool, Frank Ocean’s Blonde, and Thom Yorke’s Anima.
Wooden Elephant’s music has been sountracked by AppleTV and performed by members of Concertgebouw Orchestra. In 2021 they released their first album, LANDSCAPES, KNIVES & GLUE — Radiohead’s Kid A Recycled on Backlash Music, which was featured as an Apple Music Top 10 Album and described by them as “an extraordinarily inventive and imaginative reinterpretation, an aural tour de force”. Wooden Elephant have collaborated with Moor Mother and Beethovenorchester Bonn (creating a concert version of Moor Mother’s Analog Fluids of Sonic Black Holes), and Ballet am Rhein (creating a ballet to SOPHIE’s OIL OF EVERY PEARL’S UN-INSIDES with choreographer Gil Harush).
In October 2020 yllwshrk released their debut album I AM ALADDIN, produced by Grammy-winner David Donaldson (Ray, 2004), and featuring collaborations with the London Contemporary Orchestra, Trondheim International Chamber Music Competition winners the Maxwell String Quartet, folk singer-songwriter Hannah Read, Mercury-nominated jazz pianist Fergus McCreadie, Andi Toma from Mouse on Mars, saxophonist Nick Roth, and composer Linda Buckley. I AM ALADDIN received 4 stars from The Scotsman newspaper, with the description “audacious debut… ravishing vocals”, and was described by influential music blog Record of the Day as “the sonic soundscapes of Radiohead meet the creative genius of Bowie’s Blackstar album”. The music video of their single Pyramids — starring BBC’s inaugural The Greatest Dancer winner Ellie Fergusson — won Best Music Video at the 2020 Paris Short Film Awards.